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f13.net  |  f13.net General Forums  |  The Gaming Graveyard  |  MMOG Discussion  |  Topic: So what's Mass Market Again? Conan hits 1M (shipped). 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
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Author Topic: So what's Mass Market Again? Conan hits 1M (shipped).  (Read 198874 times)
Nerf
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The Presence of Your Vehicle Has Been Documented


Reply #105 on: June 10, 2008, 11:04:06 PM

Quote
Character art, animation and spell effects are even more detailed than the scenery, and while there is some visible "skating" and "rubberbanding" when other players move around you, animation and movement is far more realistic than in Lord of the Rings Online. It can't quite touch World of Warcraft, but what it loses in animation quality and smoothness, it takes back in the amount of detail and texture quality.

When you venture beyond the mid-level zones, things get slightly more uneven and at times there are fairly annoying visual bugs in the scenery - floating objects, missing or misplaced textures and visible polygon seams. They are not a game-breaking issue, but they betray the rush to get the visuals done in time for launch, and in a way they stand out more than they really should simply because the scenery is otherwise so beautiful.

Not as realistic as WoW, really?  REALLY?


Quote
Performance?
YOU NEED TWO WHOLE GIGS OF RAM AND IT DOESN'T LOAD ALL FOUR OF MY CORES EVENLY!!!!

Quote
Innovative Combat Mechanisms

This fresh take on MMO combat is probably the reason why so many have praised the game as "new" and "fresh", but once you have spent couple of evenings spamming couple of buttons constantly to fight off even the weakest trash monsters, the practical benefits of an autoattack system become apparent.

Age of Conan isn't dramatically different from its competition - anyone who has played Warrior, Rogue of Feral Druid in That Other Game knows very well that high level melee combat involves plenty of button mashing over there as well, and same is true for most other MMO games. The remaining differences are minor - sure, you hit multiple opponents if they are in your frontal arc, but that's as innovative as hitting Cleave with your Warrior. All Age of Conan really did was to add collision detection and turn almost every attack into an area or cone effect, capable of hitting multiple foes.

Then there are the melee combos - great in theory, nothing too special in practice.

this innovation breaks into small bits when you try to apply it to PvP combat. In fact, the whole combo system degenerates melee PvP to circle running as each player keeps running around so the enemy can't pull off a potentially devastating multi-hit combo - at least until a third player comes along and nukes both melee characters into smoldering piles of goo. "Exciting".

As opposed to the melee in WoW, where people run around in circles.  Also, any melee who knows wtf they're doing isn't doing -that-


Quote
Death - A New Way To Travel

Some whining about how if your healer dies in a dungeon the group will usually suicide back to the healer as he can't solo to you.

It also turns death into a cheap teleportation tool - just check where the closest spawn point is, and get killed. I don't mind non-existing death penalty from PvP combat - that's only smart - but when people go suicidal just to avoid walking, something is seriously wrong with the game.


Agree on the travel point, but that has alot more to do with travel than death.

Quote
Server Types

PVP servers are gankfests, shocking.
Culture-PVP is stupid because only stygia has mages.

Hope You Like Quests

Quests are still killing things and bringing stuff to people!
Voiceovers stop at 20.
Sometimes you have to group, and sometimes you don't, and grouping can be annoying sometimes.

Zone design is as uneven as the graphics - some areas are wide open and for a moment you might think you are adventuring in a wilderness. Others are designed like single player levels from a crappy first person shooter - one or two narrow paths, filled with enemies ready to attack you as you advance - and should you have to return later to do some quest at the far end of such a zone - yes, you get to kill a pile of mobs on the way again. In fact, some outdoor zones appear to be little more than dungeons without a roof, and the number of open adventuring zones is shockingly small, just nine zones.
[/quote]

I really don't understand bitching about not having enough variation in half the of the review, and then bitching about the variation.
Wait, yeah I do.

Quote
Dungeons! Raids! Endgame!

Content stops at 40, hellooo grind!
Bitching about unlocking new tiers of feats every 5/10 levels.
Bitching about dungeons being public instances.

Spot on with the content stopping at 40, unlocking new feats every 5 or 10 levels doesn't bother me at all, and the ONLY dungeon I've run into any problems with is the cistern/main system, which I'll bet is going to get changed posthaste.

Quote
Other Bits - Crafting, UI, Customer Support

Nodes regen slowly, and gankers gank people near them on PvP servers.
High level crafting requires the guild-city buildings for some items, I should be able to make the best stuff solo!
WoWs UI is perfect and you can customzie everything and AoCs is poopy.
Not enough inventory space, and you can't buy another bag. (quote - Your inventory is full. It will be always full. Only one bag allowed in Hyboria.)
Petition queues are fucked, no phone support for billing.

Quote
Fundamentaly Broken Bits

Disjointed Game Wold
The game world is designed as a set of zones that are not physically connected to each other, and you constantly run into barriers - usually visible, but sometimes invisible - and both types prevent you from exploring the local area any further. Major bits of the scenery are just set pieces - pretty, but just background graphics. Major parts of Old Tarantia look majestic, but are in reality inaccessible, and same thing repeats in the other two starter hub areas - Conarch Village is probably the best of the bunch, but it is surrounded by an impassable wooden stockade, and the only way to venture outside is to use one of the designated zone points. Khemi being a small island is surrounded by water you are not meant to cross - and if you do, you find out that everything beyond the island is just fake.

Misused Instancing

Instead of a single dynamically adjusting game world where you can meet your friends if you just walk to the same spot on the map, every non-city zone in the game is instanced. Depending on the player load, there can be easily 8-9 identical copies of a zone up at any given time, and each of them has so few players that you might mistake Age of Conan as a single player game

Yet at the same time Age of Conan dumps the universally accepted fix to avoid boss camping and most dungeons are public instances that get copied just like the outdoor zones - so it's highly likely that the end boss of your dungeon is being camped by a Chinese gold farmer.

Kindergarten Economic System

Items do not decay, and you do not have to repair anything, you do not pay for skill training, travel is free and in general there are no constant "money sinks" to keep the inflation in check.

While there are plenty of other bugs and minor problems that will get fixed over time, all these fundamental issues drag down the gameplay score as they run so deep that they would require major re-working of the game and it's highly unlikely to ever happen.

There is also a mile-long list of bugs and broken bits about Age of Conan. While the first 20 levels in Tortage are fairly polished, even there you'll notice the incredible disappearing character bug.

Author goes on with a 1/2 page diatribe on NPCs loading and popping up in front of you, and that -this- is the reason he quite AoC.
Also bitching about boss loot.

in addition to abilities and stats that do nothing, we have abilities that get worse as your character gains experience and levels. Or how about the silly fact that Age of Conan's weapon swing time depends on the duration of the visual swing animation, and female characters swing their weapons about 25% slower than males - so every female melee character does 25% less damage over time!


The whole females do less damage thing is news to me, I'd like to see some parsed damage logs that say that.

And finally...
Quote
Scores
To learn more about our scoring methodology, please click here.

Gameplay -66-  Buggy, unfinished, poorly balanced and lacking in content. Clumsy user interface, over-reliance on instancing and general lack of immersion doesn't exactly help. It's better than Vanguard, but not by much.

Graphics -87- At times extremely pretty, but maddeningly inconsistent with many areas appearing to be unfinished. Character animation is passable, but the ancient curse of moonwalking and sliding monsters rears its ugly head occasionally.
(I can't remember seeing moonwalking or sliding monsters once, not to say it never happens, but I can't remember it.) 

Audio -93- Excellent music and good sound effects - there is no obvious corner-cutting and audio is definitely the strong point of Age of Conan. 

Technology -81- Age of Conan doesn't crash (much), and the servers seem to work. The engine is fairly advanced, but there are plenty of bugs left and it still needs some serious work to weed out remaining visual and performance issues. Much-promoted DX10 went missing somewhere along the way, even if the box still claims support.

OVERALL -76- Age of Conan might turn out to be a fair game at some future date, but we can't score a game based on future promises. As it stands now, it's incomplete, rushed and buggy, with major game systems utterly broken. Recommended only for exploit hunters and MMO fanatics that enjoy waiting for that next patch - the one that will "fix everything" - even when it never does. 

Fuck, thats still really long, sorry guys, tried to only include the important shit.





lamaros
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Reply #106 on: June 10, 2008, 11:09:58 PM

WE COULDN'T CLICK THE LINK AND READ IT FOR OURSELVES THANKS FOR ABRIDGING IT IN AN UNBIASED AND USEFUL MANNER.
Nerf
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Reply #107 on: June 10, 2008, 11:16:48 PM

You're welcome Lamaros, sometimes I can't click on links either, it makes me sad ):
sam, an eggplant
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Reply #108 on: June 10, 2008, 11:53:03 PM

I essentially agree with everything that review says, including the end score of 3/5 for the title as released.

But I disagree with his conclusion-- AoC is deeply flawed in many ways and was released tragically unpolished and unfinished, but it has the potential to grow into something great. I don't think they'll make a million subscribers by 2009, but they'll end up stabilizing around 800k.

Unless the 360 version actually exists, in which case it's anyone's call.

And do females really do a quarter less damage?!

Edit: Wow I guess they do. And it's supposed to be fixed in the patch tomorrow. That's a pretty big bug.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2008, 11:59:55 PM by sam, an eggplant »
lamaros
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Reply #109 on: June 11, 2008, 12:14:17 AM

But I disagree with his conclusion-- AoC is deeply flawed in many ways and was released tragically unpolished and unfinished, but it has the potential to grow into something great. I don't think they'll make a million subscribers by 2009, but they'll end up stabilizing around 800k.

And do females really do a quarter less damage?!

Edit: Wow I guess they do. And it's supposed to be fixed in the patch tomorrow. That's a pretty big bug.

Generous of you to call it a bug.

Why did AoC set it's sights so high? Surely they could have just released a game half the size with twice as much effort spent on it, does just as well with the marketing, recieved better world of mouth, more subs, and then just put in more stuff and polish in the first expansion.

I'm going with my eariler statement. AoC will be ruined by WAR and WotLK later this year.
lac
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Reply #110 on: June 11, 2008, 02:48:43 AM

Quote
do females really do a quarter less damage?!
Edit: Wow I guess they do. And it's supposed to be fixed in the patch tomorrow. That's a pretty big bug.

That's a classic. Did they only find that out now? If they did, I guess it's because few people in beta roll a new character in the same class but of a different gender.
Numtini
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Reply #111 on: June 11, 2008, 07:04:31 AM

I can't even imagine why this would be the case unless it was specifically added as a feature. Someone with some programming experience have any ideas?

If you can read this, you're on a board populated by misogynist assholes.
Slayerik
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Reply #112 on: June 11, 2008, 07:06:48 AM


And do females really do a quarter less damage?!


Yeah but they have tits. Its an even trade-off IMO.

"I have more qualifications than Jesus and earn more than this whole board put together.  My ego is huge and my modesty non-existant." -Ironwood
tazelbain
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tazelbain


Reply #113 on: June 11, 2008, 07:09:48 AM


But I disagree with his conclusion-- AoC is deeply flawed in many ways and was released tragically unpolished and unfinished, but it has the potential to grow into something great. I don't think they'll make a million subscribers by 2009, but they'll end up stabilizing around 800k.

I am not in the market for potential.

"Me am play gods"
Venkman
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Reply #114 on: June 11, 2008, 07:18:13 AM

Quote
Edit: Wow I guess they do. And it's supposed to be fixed in the patch tomorrow. That's a pretty big bug.
Wow. And this doesn't seem like a bug, but rather a design decision, based on the consistency of the numbers. Very VERY risky thing to do at all (sexism!11/1), but even more so to not tell the players.

Did they parse a DPS log? The damage numbers at the end looked very close, while the time it takes to make a swing seemed the big difference.

Did anyone do comparisons on magic attacks?

Did they try different races? (like Female Stygians vs Female Aquilonians)?
Brogarn
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Reply #115 on: June 11, 2008, 07:22:09 AM

I'm guessing it was an idea they were playing with considering the source material, coded it, then later decided it was a bad idea and neglected to remove it.
Miasma
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Reply #116 on: June 11, 2008, 07:40:16 AM

No the reason some classes do less damage as women is because they screwed up the timing of the animations so they swing slower.  It wasn't an intentional "make women do less damage", that's insane.
Bunk
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Reply #117 on: June 11, 2008, 07:42:24 AM

Well, cool. Sounds like my Mangina Assassin is getting a 25% damage boost.

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"I have retard strength." - Schild
Abelian75
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Reply #118 on: June 11, 2008, 07:59:18 AM

Yeah, the female animations just happen to be longer, and since they are using an animation-driven combat system (unlike any other MMO I can think of, but like most action games), that makes the attack take longer.  It also feels to me that certain attack directions are slower than others due to longer animations as well, but I haven't actually researched that or anything.

Course one interesting thing about the animation-driven combat is... if you changed your animations locally, could you then attack faster?  How good is the server at checking to make sure you're obeying the length of the animation and not attacking faster than that?  Considering how rushed AoC was at the end of beta, I wouldn't be too surprised if the checking isn't so good.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2008, 08:01:42 AM by Abelian75 »
sam, an eggplant
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Reply #119 on: June 11, 2008, 08:27:30 AM

I also have a mangina. I like to think I have a pretty thick skin, but a 25% damage bug pisses me off. I mean, goddamn!
Nija
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Reply #120 on: June 11, 2008, 08:47:37 AM

I'll be amazed if people play beyond the first month.

AoC was very depressing for me to play. It was like, "take a walk down MMO lane and see every single mistake every single developer has made for the last 12 years!" digitized.

I read an article yesterday about how people who make less than $13,000 USD/year spend, on average, 9% of their wages on lottery tickets. The first thing I thought of was AoC. It's like poor people buying up lottery tickets just hoping for a win vs. MMO gamers buying every new game that comes out, hoping for a win.
Bunk
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Reply #121 on: June 11, 2008, 12:00:38 PM

I veiwed it as, I'm still throwing money at WoW to just casually play every once in a while, why not throw that same money at a new game that at least the rest of the guild is still loggining in to. For now.

And I like boobies, and believe in supporting games that have boobies.

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Jarnis
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Reply #122 on: June 11, 2008, 12:19:51 PM

It seems so strongly venomous I'm trying to figure out who is sponsering him.

No one, he's just strongly opinionated (I remember him from the DAOC beta boards). He posts as Jarnis... thought he had an account here but I'm not finding it.

I've only been lurking here. However, I have trolled participated in MMO-related Broken Toys comment threads from time to time...

And sorry to disappoint - my only "sponsor" is Futuremark who pays my salary for writing stuff for the YouGamers site.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2008, 12:23:40 PM by Jarnis »
cevik
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Reply #123 on: June 11, 2008, 12:41:44 PM

I've only been lurking here. However, I have trolled participated in MMO-related Broken Toys comment threads from time to time...

One of the biggest complaints I see floating around, and one of your complaints, is a lack of endgame when compared to WoW.  IIRC WoW shipped with a (very broken) Molten Core and Onyxia as far as end game content goes.  The next raid instance was added about a year later (BWL), with raids being added around every 6 months to a year after that.

Stupid Question:  Do modern mmogs have to ship with end games that match or beat WoW's current end game to be successful?  The comparisons are never made to WoW at release, they are always made to modern WoW, going on 4 years after release.

If this is the case, will there ever be another successful mmog released?  If the comparison will always be made to modern WoW, I can't imagine that anyone will ever have the budget to compete with what WoW eventually became (instead of where it started).  I can't even imagine the next Blizzard product having the development dollars to release a game with end game content that has the depth of modern WoW.

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ajax34i
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Reply #124 on: June 11, 2008, 12:49:54 PM

I'm waiting for them to fix whatever the glaring bugs that you guys are reporting are, plus add some end-game content, and THEN I'll play it.  I did the same with WoW actually, and EQ; didn't play either of those till a few months after release.  When the comments I see floating around switch from reporting the bugs to talking about strategies and builds, that will be my cue.

So, I'd say yes.  They CAN use whatever revenue they are getting from boxes and current subscriptions to immediately improve the game and add content, just like WoW has done.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2008, 12:51:47 PM by ajax34i »
Numtini
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Reply #125 on: June 11, 2008, 12:51:13 PM

Quote
Do modern mmogs have to ship with end games that match or beat WoW's current end game to be successful?

I think the big focus on the endgame has to do with exactly how many people are reaching level 80 within the first month.

If you can read this, you're on a board populated by misogynist assholes.
photek
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Reply #126 on: June 11, 2008, 12:54:46 PM

One of the biggest complaints I see floating around, and one of your complaints, is a lack of endgame when compared to WoW.  IIRC WoW shipped with a (very broken) Molten Core and Onyxia as far as end game content goes.  The next raid instance was added about a year later (BWL), with raids being added around every 6 months to a year after that.

Stupid Question:  Do modern mmogs have to ship with end games that match or beat WoW's current end game to be successful?  The comparisons are never made to WoW at release, they are always made to modern WoW, going on 4 years after release.

If this is the case, will there ever be another successful mmog released?  If the comparison will always be made to modern WoW, I can't imagine that anyone will ever have the budget to compete with what WoW eventually became (instead of where it started).  I can't even imagine the next Blizzard product having the development dollars to release a game with end game content that has the depth of modern WoW.

Molten Core was patched in at a later date. Dire Maul wasn't even in release, it was also patched in. And no, it doesn't have to beat WoW's current end game, it has to have something new and some end game for the top levels. When content starts lacking at level 50 I dont want to reach top level. WoW gives you a reason to level fast to 70 cause there is tons of things to do. WAR has tons of endgame announced especially for PvP / RVR.

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Nija
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Reply #127 on: June 11, 2008, 12:57:17 PM

Well, when WOW was released, it took me 19 days /played to reach 60. I know people can do that in less than a day with the tools available now, but at the time it was a great 19 days /played. The poopsockers were doing it in 14-15 days. It was a grand adventure. It all worked. You had various fun things to do along the way. Stuff like the auction house, in game mail, and instances worked and were itemized (if applicable) and functional. Complete.

Yes, future games should be as complete as WOW was on release. They shouldn't have the 'end game' as fleshed out as WOW currently is. (current being when you read this post 06-2008 or in the FUTURE)

I don't think anyone should release a game unless it's got a solid two weeks /played worth of functional, fun content. If you're shipping with less than that, you're up shit creek without a paddle.

With Conan, people were hitting max level in 2 days played. Poopsockers or not, that shouldn't be the case.

Also you shouldn't backload "the fun" for end-game experiences only, but that's another discussion. With Conan, specifically, they're front-loading the fun. You do your 20 levels of directed quest chains and voice overs then you're dumped into MMO purgatory. For the next 60 levels.
cevik
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Reply #128 on: June 11, 2008, 01:00:24 PM

Molten Core was patched in at a later date. Dire Maul wasn't even in release, it was also patched in. And no, it doesn't have to beat WoW's current end game, it has to have something new and some end game for the top levels. When content starts lacking at level 50 I dont want to reach top level. WoW gives you a reason to level fast to 70 cause there is tons of things to do. WAR has tons of endgame announced especially for PvP / RVR.

But there are three raid zones in AoC, correct?  So it does have SOME end game content at the moment (more than typical).

Of course I'm only level 35, so I really can't tell ya if it's GOOD end game content yet, but there is at least some end game content right now.

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tmp
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Reply #129 on: June 11, 2008, 01:01:45 PM

Stupid Question:  Do modern mmogs have to ship with end games that match or beat WoW's current end game to be successful?  The comparisons are never made to WoW at release, they are always made to modern WoW, going on 4 years after release.
I'd say yes, given the game when released isn't competing with "WoW 4 years ago" but with the "WoW here and now". In similar manner when WoW was released it wasn't competing with "Everquest of old" but with EQ and other MMOs in their present shape, all bells and whistles added meantime etc.

edit: though to note, the 'match and beat' part doesn't have to mean equal amount of content and such. Making it fun enough so the people will want to stick around to play it and wait for more (rather than go back to WoW) should be good enough... of course 'making it fun enough' is the hard part.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2008, 01:04:37 PM by tmp »
cevik
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I've always wondered about the All Black People Eat Watermelons


Reply #130 on: June 11, 2008, 01:05:38 PM

I'd say yes, given the game when released isn't competing with "WoW 4 years ago" but with the "WoW here and now". In similar manner when WoW was released it wasn't competing with "Everquest of old" but with EQ and other MMOs in their present shape, all bells and whistles added meantime etc.

This is what I suspect, personally, is the correct answer to my question.  The problem I see is that on the horizon, no game have the development budget to ship as complete as WoW is today.

I know, I know, Warhammer is going to PWN MY FUCKING FACE INTO THE GROUND HUZZAH.

*sniffle*, brings a tear to my eye to remember the good old days of trolling LtM listening to people tell me how DAoC was going to CRUSH  Everquest.

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Kirth
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Reply #131 on: June 11, 2008, 01:08:25 PM

Back in the day, scholomance and Black Rock Spire were 'raid content'.
Miasma
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Reply #132 on: June 11, 2008, 01:14:49 PM

Molten Core was patched in at a later date.
No, molten core was there on day one.
Abelian75
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Reply #133 on: June 11, 2008, 01:16:34 PM

Back in the day, scholomance and Black Rock Spire were 'raid content'.

To be fair, it's possible that the same might be said of current "raid content" in AoC a few years down the line.

But yeah, I think I've said it before here, but if there's one thing AoC drove home in my brain (being the first post-WoW game where I actually feel content-limited rather than god-this-game-blows limited), it's that WoW shipped with a TON of content.  Goddamn.
sam, an eggplant
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Reply #134 on: June 11, 2008, 01:16:52 PM

I disagree. AoC's budget was huge and should have been more than sufficient. So is WAR's. The problem comes in when these titles try to overreach themselves and add too much rather than polishing what's already built, then they run up against a hard release date, and boom, have to put it on shelves. WAR obviously has more freedom there.

AoC's deficiencies can almost all be traced to polish. The base game mechanics work and are fun. Their beta period was just too small by several orders of magnitude.
cevik
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I've always wondered about the All Black People Eat Watermelons


Reply #135 on: June 11, 2008, 01:26:24 PM

I disagree. AoC's budget was huge and should have been more than sufficient. So is WAR's. The problem comes in when these titles try to overreach themselves and add too much rather than polishing what's already built, then they run up against a hard release date, and boom, have to put it on shelves. WAR obviously has more freedom there.

AoC's deficiencies can almost all be traced to polish. The base game mechanics work and are fun. Their beta period was just too small by several orders of magnitude.

It is my understanding (read:  I'm often wrong) neither of those titles has the budget that WoW had at release, and WoW was released 4 years ago.  If they have to compete with modern day WoW to be considered a success, well, we'll see how it turns out when WAR is released I guess. :)

I think you are drastically underestimating the funds required to compete, though, I must say yet again I'm often wrong.

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shiznitz
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Reply #136 on: June 11, 2008, 01:49:16 PM

His four examples of graphics settings are crap. The third one - supposedly on low settings - still has player shadows enabled. That should be the first thing you turn off.  Same with detailed grass.  Who favors those two things over view distance?

I have never played WoW.
Lakov_Sanite
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Reply #137 on: June 11, 2008, 02:03:33 PM

His four examples of graphics settings are crap. The third one - supposedly on low settings - still has player shadows enabled. That should be the first thing you turn off.  Same with detailed grass.  Who favors those two things over view distance?

i think the very fact you need to use arcane combinations of graphics settings to make the game playable speaks volumes in and of itself. The minute i need to read a post on these forums of how best to tweak a game to give me over 30fps on my rig which is pretty good by todays standards, then there's an issue with your game.

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sam, an eggplant
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Reply #138 on: June 11, 2008, 02:05:02 PM

I don't believe the WAR budget is available anywhere, but AoC's budget was roughly half that of WoW, which is plenty. Remember WoW was in beta for like a year. The only real question is how much they paid for the license.
Jarnis
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Reply #139 on: June 11, 2008, 02:06:58 PM

His four examples of graphics settings are crap. The third one - supposedly on low settings - still has player shadows enabled. That should be the first thing you turn off.  Same with detailed grass.  Who favors those two things over view distance?

Those are the default views you get when you hit "High", "Medium" or "Low" in the game. Last one is Medium with Pixel Shaders turned to 2.0 (for those with systems that just can't run the game at SM3.0).

I actually wrote a small tech article earlier that spelled out the fact that the shadows are the biggest drain on performance in the game. But I didn't decide those default settings - I just show what they look like for reference. I guess I could've panned the game for non-practical default graphical settings as well...  smiley
« Last Edit: June 11, 2008, 02:12:50 PM by Jarnis »
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